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Hagel's Nomination And The Clarity It Would Bring
5 years ago

The word is that President Obama is set to nominate Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Reportedly, the nomination could come as early as Monday.

Hagel’s nomination would be a victory for clarity. As has widely been observed, Hagel has no natural constituency, except perhaps for those who want a foreign and defense policy that is tougher on Israel and softer on Iran. Unfortunately, as I have observed, Obama belongs to that constituency.

Hence, the clarity his nomination would bring. Israel would be clear that Obama views the Jewish state with hostility. Iran would be clear that it has nothing serious to fear from the Obama administration.

Actually, these are the lessons of the past four years. But, if the rumors about Hagel are true, they are about to be driven home.

Nothing else can explain this odd nomination. Team Obama tried to couch it as a bipartisan act, inasmuch as Hagel was a Republican Senator. But key Republican Senators have made it clear that they don’t want Hagel at the Pentagon. Key Democrats have also failed to express enthusiasm over that prospect. Even Barney Frank opposes Hagel. If there’s a bipartisan consensus around Hagel, it’s that Obama should nominate someone else.

Under these circumstances, nominating Hagel would make sense only if he brought something special to the table. And he does — his animus towards Israel and his desire to appease Iran, views that fall well outside the foreign policy and defense mainstream from which Defense Secretaries normally are selected.

Certainly, there is nothing else special about Hagel. His Senate career was distinguished only by grandstanding and nastiness. As Bill Kristol says:

His backers can cite no significant legislation for which Hagel was responsible in his two terms in the Senate. They can quote no memorable speeches that Hagel delivered and can cite no profound passages from the book he authored. They can summarize no perceptive Hagelian analysis of defense or foreign policy, and can appeal to no acts of management or leadership by the man they’d have as our next secretary of defense.

5 years ago

Let's sincerely hope that those Democratic and Republican Senators that are not happy about his nomination will make this known by not confirming him.  This is where I believe we can really send a message to Obama, this time you get the right people as we will settle for no less.

5 years ago

Why this clueless RINO is being considered is a mystery. The only positive is his nomination is sending the LGBT wind nuts into a tizzy.

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